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, Librarv 
University of Texas 

Published by 

Workers Library Publishfjis^ Ipjc, 

P. 0, Box 148, Stn. D, New York City 

August, 19^6 



By Harry] Cannes " 

YVTHEN the truth is known to the American people they will 
'^ xmderstand the heinousiiess of the fascist assault on ihe 
Republic in Spain. They will grasp the terrible significance 
of the gangster assistance of Labor's Enemy No. 1, William 
Randolph Hearst and his ilk, to those in Spain who would 
rather butcher the very type of liberties which the Americaii 
people won by the revolution of 1776. 

We will cut through the camouflage by which the Hearst 
press and the fascists everywhere seek to surround the real 
issues in Spain today. 

T— The overwhelming majority of the Spanish people in 
February, 1936, voiced their support for the Republic against 
the agents of fascism. Spain's masses expressed their adher- 
ence to the People's Front program. They demanded an end 
to fascist plotting. They insisted on liberation of the victims 
of fascist oppression^ and the creation of a material base for 
the Republic and democracy in Spain, 

2 — The fascists liad not the slightest regard for the will of 
the people. Immediately after the election they began their 
plotting. Details were worked out for a military coup d'etat 
against ihe People's Front. They conspired against the Azana 
government, against the Communists, Socialists and Anarcho- 
SyndicalistSj against the progressives. 

3 — The Communist and Socialist Parties clearly proclaimed 
their adherence to the People's Front. They pledged support 
of the Azana government against the plots of fascism. We 
shall show that the fascists knew their charges that the imme^ 
diate aim of the Communist and Socialist Parties was to set up 
a dictatorship of the proletariat were false. Statements by 

3 814911 

both proletarian parties right after the February election^ as 
well as during the very criminal assault by the fascists on the 
Republic, prove beyond any doubt they were loyal to the 
PeopIe*s Front. The Socialists and Communists led in the 
preservation of the Republic, democracy, order and the carry- 
ing through of the will of the people to oust their enemies 
from their fortresses of economic and political privilege. 

4 — The fascists, and their allies, from the February elections 
until the day of the outbreak of the military coup, plotted 
night and day to thwart the wish of the people. The reac- 
tionaries of every stripe conspired ceaselessly to impose over 
and against the people a dictatorial government of the most 
oppressive exploiting groups of Spain. 

Fascists Use Terror 

5 — ^The fascists in Spain used terror, violence and murder 
against the lawfully established Azana government of Spain. 
Thereby ihey hoped to create a condition of anarchy and dis- 
order which would favor their seizure of power. We shall 
give full particulars of these plots. 

6— We shall give a detailed list of the groups, organizations 
and individuals involved in the fascist schemings. The mon- 
archists, feudal landlords, foreign concessionaires, aristocratic 
parasites representing the degenerate classes that had ruled 
Spain since the Middle Ages united with the fascists. Their 
aim was to stamp out and destroy the Republic supported by 
the Socialists, Communists, Anarcho-Syndicalists, the peasantry 
and the middle classes. To preserve the age-old prerogatives 
of the feudal aristocracy, they joined with the fascists against 
the expressed and irrefutable will of the people. 

7— Unable to hope for victory alone, the Spanish fascists 
long ago began plotting with Hitler and Mussolini. 

8— We shall name the generals involved and tell how they 
visited Hitler and Mussolini. We have sufficient proof to show 
that the plans were all prearranged with ihe two fascist die- 
lators. Hitler and Mussolini were concerned not only with the 
establishment of fascist rule in Spain against the will of the 


Spanish people, but in the heat of civil war they plotted to 
gain, a colonial foothold in Morocco, the Balearic Islands and 
the Canary Islands. 

i^arship Visits Planned 

9 — The visit of the Italian and German warships to the 
scene of the Spanish civil war, we shall prove, was planned 
together with the fascists in Burgos and Seville when their 
coup showed signs of going awry and their chances of win- 
ning against the People's Front were waning. 

10 — The assistance of the Spanish fascists by pro-fascist 
forces in the United States and Britain will also be uncovered 
by the most competent witnesses for the fascists. 

ll^Before the fascists began their criminal military coup, 
vvhich plunged all Spain into bloodshed, they had plotted 
economic sabotage, lockouts, hunger, assaults on Communist 
and Socialist leaders. At the time they were resorting to indi- 
vidual terror against the workers' leaders, they were also 
provoking splits in the workers' ranks between Right and Left 
Socialists; between Socialists and Communists, and especially 
between the Anarcho-Syndicalist movement and the unifying 
Socialist and Communist movement. 

12— We shall reveal facts about the strenuous efforts of the 
fascists to split the Azana Republican forces from the People's 
Front, as a preliminary step to civil war. When this failed, 
they decided to strike, hoping in the actual warfare they could 
rupture the unity of all parties standing for the Republic and 
democracy. We shall show why and how this failed, primarily 
through the correct tactics of the Socialist and Communist 
Parties in the People's Front. 

In the raft of horror stories against the anti-fascists of Spain, 
effort IS being made by reactionaries in this country lo blur 
the most startling fact of the Spanish civil war. 

The fascist criminah begmt their military assault on the 
peace of the people in an effort to force on tJveui a govern, 
ment. which they h4id overwlielmingly voted down in the elec* 
tions of February 16, 1936, 


Vote Is a Blow to Fascists 
We will admit that the resultB of the February elections were 
a slunning blow to the fascists. They did not expect such, a 
crushing defeat at the ballot box from an aroused people. 
The people of Spain, the followers of the Socialists, Com- 
munists, the Republican Parties of the middle class, the 
Anarcho-Syndicalists, the peasantry — all forgot their differ- 
ences to unite on. one aim: Against fascism! 

Nevertheless the situation in Spain in February, 1936, would 
be comparable to one in the United States, let us say, if an 
anti-fascist grouping (a real People's Front) had voted against 
the fascists in this country. And after the people had ex- 
pressed their solemn will by an overwhelming majority, the 
agents of the trusts, of the Hearsts^ of the big landowners, 
of all the forces of reaction were to instigate the army officers 
to an armed insurrection to shoot down the leaders chosen by 
the American people^ to put in their places fascists supported 
by Italy and Germany; to give the most strategic territories of 
the oountry to foreign fascist powers; to deprive the people 
of the liberties they had won; to drown democracy in a sea 
of bloodj and on the death and ruins of the Republic just 
voted by the people five months ago, to erect today the horrible 
structure of the Inquisition of the middle ages graced by the 
most modern fascist means of rule and plunder. 

That precisely is the situation in Spain, When the election 
results were finally counted^ this was the picture in that land 
now running red with blood because the fascists would not 
accept the facts we now give in cold figures: 
Strength of Parties in Carles 

Ellectians Gain 

1933 1936 or Loss 

Parties of the People's Front — — — 

Left Republicans (Azana, repre- 
senting the middle class, etc.) 7 fil -\-l^ 

Socialists 58 98 +40 

CommuniEts , 1 16 -j-]& 

O'Jljer Left groups 55 73 -j-18 

Total 121 268 +147 


Thus an overwhelming majority of the people voted for 
the People's Front of Spain. The masses of Spain had spoken. 
They had excoriated the butchers of the Asturias uprising of 
October, 1934. They had demanded the liberation of the 
30,000 prisoners held in the dungeons of the fascist regime 
of Lerroux-Robles. 

Yet even this tremendous sweep of the People's Front elec- 
tions could not fully attest to the momentousness of the anti- 
fascist temper of the masses. 

Many Anarcho-Syndicalists^ definitely against fascism, did 
not vote, under Anarchist influence. 

Many peasants were disfranchized. The fascists, in con- 
trol of most of the voting apparatus, resorted to swindling 
and trickery* 

The People Voiced Their Choice 

Still these figures left no doubt in the mind of anybody in 
Spain and among world public opinion. The people of Spain 
had voiced their choice. They were united for the Republic, 
for democracy^ and against fascism. No amount of fascist 
bloodshedding can wipe out this fact. 

The fascist forces, on the other hand, were split. The Right 
and Center were not united, though they were in an absolute 
minority. They lost 147 deputies. From a majority of 352 
members in the Cortes, after the February elections the fascists 
and Center Parlies could count only 205, Of these 205, many 
were not with the fascists in their plot to murder the expressed 
will of the people by the bloodiest uprising Spain had ever 

After the first shock, when Manuel Azana heading a gov- 
ernment supported by the People's Front, and under the great 
pressure of the masses released the 30,000 anti-fascist pris- 
oners, the fascists began their systematic criminal plotting, 
which in five months led to the bestial assault on the Republic 
and the endangering of world peace. 



A SERIES of accidental smash-ups in the plans of the fascists 
■^^ rev<5aled phases of the plot that greatly embarrassed Hitler 
and Mussolini and brought startling details into the light of 

Speedy resistance by a united People's Front upset the fascist 
hopes for an early attainment of their goal and revealed more 
links with Hitler an<i Mussolini. 

A fateful airplane crash killing the Spanish general chosen 
as commander-in-chief of the insurrectionary armies was the 
main blow to the fascist plot. Its consequence helped reveal 
still more phases of the conspiracy. 

The premature outbreak of the uprising, putting the fascists 
in a desperate plight, led to further disclosuresn The crash 
of Italian military planes in French Moroccan territory gave 
added tangible proof of Mussolini's participation and the 
reasons for it. 

InterveiUion Wus Plotted 

While the fascist generals in Spain, with the assistance of 
the CEDA (reactionary political grouping) leaders, Gil Robles 
and Calvo Sotelo, prepared the ground for the present up- 
risings, other generals and diplomats were busy arranging for 
the interventionist phase of the coup. 

The Spanish fascists feared that if the contest were left to a 
decision of the people of Spain alone they would be doomed. 
They therefore, from the very beginning, got substantial prom- 
ise of assistance from Hitler and Mussolini. 

It is already well kiiomi that the chief financier of the fascist 
plot was the Spanish tobacco magnatej luan March, reputed 
to be worth $100,000,000. March^ very soon after Prime 
Minister Azana established the government supported by the 
People's Front, after consultation with Gil Robles, chose Gen^ 
eral Jose Sanjurjo to visit Germany and consult with Hitler. 
Sanjurjo, the Nazi press admits^ was received enthusiastically 
by the Hitlerites. 


The German fascists were fully apprised of the plot against 
the Spanish People's Front. Arms were shipped to the North 
of Spain. Fascist-placed customs officers let them through- 
They were cached in Burgos and Pamplona. None of these 
facts is now denied. General Mola admitted to H. R. Knick- 
erbocker, Hearst correspondent with the Spanish fascist forces, 
and to John Elliott, Herald Tribune correspondent, that the 
greater part of the rifles and machine guns used were of Ger- 
man manufacture. 

Working with General Sanjurjo in Berlin were the Spanish 
ambassador Francisco Agramonte y Cortijo. an aristocrat, and 
Lieutenant Col. Manuel Martinez, military attache. On July 
30, 1936, thirteen days after the uprising, and when Hitler's 
war vessels were already participating on the side of Gen. 
Franco, both of these Spanish "diplomats" in Nazi Germany 
quit their posts. They frankly admitted at that late date that 
they "made no secret of the fact" that they sided with the 
fascists, (/v. Y. Times, Aug. 1, 1936.) We do not have to 
strain the point that their sympathies with the butchers of 
the Spanish people originated on the day of the uprising. They 
had introduced Gen. Sanjurjo to Air Minister Goering, to 
Alfred Rosenberg, Nazi specialist in foreign plots, and to 
Hitler himself. 

A few weeks before the zero hour in Spain, Gen. Sanjurjo 
landed in Portugal. There he received the assistance of the 
Portuguese fascist dictator, OHviero Salazar. On the day 
Gen. Franco gave the signal for the assault in Ceuta and 
Melilla, Spanish Morocco, Gen. Sanjurjo took off in a plane 
for Burgos, Navarre province, Spain. For some mysterious 
reason his machine crashed. At the very outset, that was 
one of the severest blows to the fascists. For Gen. Sanjurjo 
was the chief link to Rome and Berlin. Besides, Sanjurjo was 
acknowledged to be the unifying force, the most capable field 
marshal of the highly sectionalized fascist armies. His death 
completely disjointed the co-ordinated plan of attack with out- 
side intervention. Efforts to remedy this disaster for the 


fascists helped to reveal further details of the criminal plot 
against the people of Spain. 

While Sanjurjo was plotting with Hitler in Berlin, the Span- 
ish arabassador to Rome was charged by Gen. Franco Calvo 
Sotelo, Gil Robles and Juan March to sound out Mussolini. 
Of this angle of the plotj least is known at the present 

However, again an air incident now helps us to piece to- 
gether the bloodstained threads of this phase of the conspiracy. 

On Aug. 6, Gen, Victor Denain, high commissioner of 
French Morocco, presented the Blum government with the 
following facts: 

Two of the eighteen planes destined from Italy to Gen. 
Franco in Spanish Morocco crashed. Documents found on the 
surviving fliers showed the planes belonged to the Italian air 
forces of the 55th, 57th and 58th squadron. The insignia had 
been hastily doubed over. One of the officers still carried 
his fascist army pay book. The planes were gotten ready 
on orders of the Rome Air Ministry on July 20 (only three 
days after Gen. Franco began the uprising in Morocco). The 
haste in fitting the planes for this desperate flight to assist 
Franco was due to the fact that the crash which killed Gen, 
Sanjurjo left the Spanish fascists without a unifying leader; 
and, what is most important, without the plans of foreign 
assistance. Mussolini^ therefore^ realized the necessity of 
carrying out his part of the bargain in the risky manner of 
rushing bombing planes from the Italian air force to Gen. 

Documentary evidence published by the People's Front in 
Barcelona further tends to implicate the Italian and German 
fascists. On Aug. 5, La Puhlicidad of Barcelona declared; 
'^Records seized in both places show the German consulate 
aided Germans there, and ihat they received propaganda for 
Nazi ideas to be put into effect in various parts of Spain.'' 

The fascists left no stone unturned to insure foreign assist- 
ance, not only in Italy and Germany, but even in France. 

Strange that de Jourenen, a French fascist leader, found 


himself in Pamplona, one of the headquarters of Gen, Mola's 
forces in the North of Spain, just as Gen. Franco began his 
bloody attack in Morocco. De Jourenen is still in Pamplona 
maintaining contact with de la Kocqiie's fascist bands in Paris 
and in the South of France. 

Gen. Franco's explanation for Mussolini's and Hitler's aid 
to the Spanish butchers ("we have saved Western Europe from 
the menace of Communism, and we look to America and 
Africa to associate their authority to subjugate the forces of 
Communism") is just the usual fascist propaganda. Actually^ 
more substantial reasons existed. 

Mussolini in his conflict with British imperialism saw a 
splendfid opportunity to get a base opposite Gibraltar. This 
is in accord with the Italian fascist scheme of making the 
Mediterranean "Mare Nostrum" (our sea). Furthermore, air 
bases and harbors in the Balearic Islands, ceded by a victorious 
fascist power in Spain, whose right to parcel out its territories 
could not then be diplomatically questioned, was worth the 
most desperate gamble for Mussolini. ^^^^ 

Hitler's share, it turned out later, according to the well-) 
informed French commentator on foreign alFairsj Genevieve 
Tabois, was to be a portion of the Canary Islands, athwart 
the North African Atlantic Coast, ^ 

Now that fits like a glove on Hitler's plans for regaining! 
Germany's African colonies and bidding, along with Italy,! 
for a distribution of the colonial empire of France and prob- 
ably Britain. 

A "'Private" Mmter 

So anxious was Mussolini to insist that bis shipment of 
planes to Gen. Franco was a "private" matter and that fascist 
Italy liad received no promises of_coj_onial reward,., thai he 
instructed his chief editorial mouthpiece, Vrrginio Gayda, of- 
ficially to rush in and deny the charge. Protesting entirely too 
muchj Gayda, writing in II Giornale d' Italia, fumed: 

"Italy never received such an offer [of Ceuia, Morocco] which 
Gen, Franco, whc^ is jiislly proud of the integrity of Spanish-owned 
lerriiory, never made." 


Which should of course be proof in any court in the world 
that Mussolini absolulely did not have any promise from the 
Spanish fascists of territorial reward. 

If Rome is worth a mass, a fascist Spain to Generals Franco 
and Mola is worth at least the loss of Ceuta, the Balearic and 
Canary Islands. Cheaps indeed, at half the price. 

Now let us see how the plot of foreign fascist assistance un- 
wound itself after the fatal crash of Gen. Sanjurjo. 

To the consternation of Gen. Franco, the navy and air 
forces remained loyal to the People's Front. The fascist up- 
risings in the Barcelona and Madrid barracks were smashed. 
Generals Fanjul and Coded, leading the plot In Madrid, were 
captured. The People's Front held, united. Workers and 
peasiints were armed. The masses stormed to the defense of 
their democratic liberties. Locked in Seville^ mustachioed 
General Quiepo de Llano desperately blurted out an open 
appeal for the foreign fascist assistance promised to the Span- 
ish fascists. 

For all the world to hear, Llano, on July 27, over the 
Seville radio, pleaded with the admirals on the Italian and 
German warships swarming in the Straits of Gibraltar to rush 
the help they had promised. Not even Hearst has denied that 

Then what happened? 

The bargain made with Geii. Sanjurjo was carried out. The 
German "pocket" battleship Deutschland steamed to Ceuta, 
iruerrupting a bombardment by loyal Spanish war vessels of 
the fascist-held fortress. 

According to the fascist Hearst press, the Deutschland landed 
military advisors and aviators. We do not think it is specu- 
lating too much to think that the Deutschland admiral who 
landed at Ceuta and visited Gen. Franco gave him the pre- 
arranged plans which were lost when Gen. Sanjurjo's body 
was burned to cinders along with his documents on the fateful 
flight from Lisbon to Burgos. 


yfSiVersity of Texas 

Take Desperate Chance AusHn 

Soon after Llano's appeal, also, the Italian planes^ all set 
since July 20, took a desperate chance in an oncoming storm, 
to reach Spanish Morocco. 

Another German cruiser, on Aug. 5, steamed into Cadiz, put 
off a landing party of Nazi oflScers and soldiers, who paraded 
the streets, gave the Nazi salute and cried: "Heil Hitler!" 
During this demonstration, the ship's commander was closeted 
with the Spanish fascist officers holding Cadiz. 

We come now to some corroborating evidence from an 
American pro-fascist source. We would not put H. R. Knicker- 
bocker on the witness stand to give historical testimony of 
what is happening in Spain, Yet in calling him we cannot 
be charged with summoning a witness biased in favor of the 
People's Front of Spain or the struggle to preserve democracy 
ag:ainst fascism. Notoriously, Knickerbocker gives the official 
fascist position of Gen. Mola at his headquarters in Burgos. 

We have no proof of our own of American capitalist partici- 
pation on the side of Spanish fascism. But we do not think 
Hearst's foremost foreign publicist would malign, let us say, 
Standard Oil Co. or that important British capitalist, Gordon 

Oil Aug. 4, Knickerbocker cabled: 

"The larger oil companies have considerable interest in the 
Spanish civil war." Then he added: "Among i\ party of visitors 
arriving in Burgos by air is the Count de Sibours, a representative 
of Standard Oil interesJ:s." 

Sibours also is connected with the Selfridge millions by 

On Aug. S again Knickerbocker added a few details to our 
general outline of fascist assistance by cabling; 

"One ol the first bits of good news for the rebels from the 
southern front came today with word that Gen. Franco, com- 
mander there, ha& received from abroad [that is, Italy and Ger- 
many] eighteen large cpmmerciaL ajipjanes suitable for troop 

transport." 8^.49 }.. 




On July 23, the Northern fascists had hopes even of diplo- 
matic recognition from their fascist allies, Knickerbocker in- 
forming American readers on behalf of the fascist Gen. Mola 

"Enlhu&iastic aiistrocrats in Burgos even declared they huve 
liopes that authoritative j^yvernmenl;= such as Italy and Germany 
might even recognize a Spaiiii^Ii military government before the 
taking of Madrid." 

(/) That convinces us that Hitler and Mussolini had promised 
recognition at least right ajler the fascist capture of Madrid. 
On July 25, incidentally, Hitler recognized Mussoliui^s con- 
quest of Ethiopia. That also set a precedent for each other's 
recognition of the Spanish colonial gifts for helping Gen. 

And who are these people that Hitler and Mussolini help? 
"Every second person one meets," condescendingly writes 
Knickerbocker, "is a marquess or a count. The nobility is 
happy for the first time since Alfonso fled the country." 

Workers are being slaughtered; Mussolini and Hitler are 
coming to the rescue. Why shouldn't an aristocrat be happy? 

Again on July 27, Knickerbocker sings the old refrain: 
C/*The rebels are confidently hopeful of sympathetic aid froni 
Nazi Germany.*' 


T^HE very lords of the manor against whom all France rose 
-^ in 1793, the Tories, landlords^ monarchical oppressors 
against whom the American people shed blood in 1776 for 
law and order against tyranny, are the self-same scourges, 
buttressed by fascism, who have this time risen against the 
Spanish democratic republic. 

In the news now burning up the cables, Hitler and Musso- 
lini go heavy on the propaganda thai the fight is one of fascism 
against Communism. 

Never was there so dastardly a lie in order to befuddle 
honest, liberty-loving, democratic people in other countries, 
especially the United States, England and France. To avoid 


gympalhetic interference from the people who really will be 
affected by the loss of democracy in Spain, Hitler and Musso- 
lini shout that they are battling Bolshevism, Communism, 

By that sign they hope to conquer against the People's Front 
of Spain, which is united in shedding their blood for the 
defense of the democratic Republic of Spain. 

Not only now, in the heat of the world-shaking battle for 
Spanish liberty against those who would destroy the Republic, 
but at the very beginning, after the February people's victory, 
both the Communist and Socialist Parties made their stand 

The elections were a stunning blow to the fascists and all 
their aristocratic hangers-on. The people had spoken, and 
their voice was a loud, resounding shout for the Republic 
against fascism, and for the retention of unity of all people 
standing for democracy. 

Fascists Be^in Plots 

To forestall false pretexts of the fascists who were legally 
and definitely rejected by the people of Spain, the Communists 
and Socialists made their post-eleclion st^nd clear. 

The fascists had hoped for an immediate split between the 
Left Republicans (headed by President Manuel Azana), and 
the proletarian parties, the Socialists, Communists and An- 

On the ground thai the Socialists and Communists, aided by 
the Syndicalists (representing a minority of the people without 
the peasants and middle class) would attempt to institute the 
Dictatorship of the Proletariat, the fascists began their sabo- 
tage, their terror, their insidious plotting in the army and with 
Hitler and Mussolini, 

Communisl Policy 

To shalter their plans, the Communists and Socialists, im- 
medintely after the elections, made iheir position crystal, 
so that all the world could read and understand. 



,^The General Secretary of the Communist Party of Spain, 
Jose Diaz, now one of the leaders in the workers' militia, de- 
fending the Spanish Republic against its fascist assassins, in 
February, 1936, right after the People's Front won the elec- 
tions, emphasized the policy of the Communist Par(y of Spain: 

"The l^eople's Front must not he disbanded," he warned; and 
how thoroLighly the hloody days since July 17 have U]3derlined the 
truth of his appeal. *'0n the coiUiaty, it musi be stiengthenefl and 
given every possible activity. Wc believe It necessary to continue 
the action jointly — Communists, Socialists, Anarcliists — ^6rmly united 
in the Workers' and Peasants' Alifance, in conjunction with the 
Left Kepublicaji and democratic masses. This will be tlie best 
guarantee that the bourgeoia-demociatic revolution will be realized 
in it& final implications." 

The Tide Is Turned 

Crystal clear, goldem words^ of our comrades in Spain, 
uttered on the very threshold of the plots of the fascist con- 

Any assistance to the fascists in their plans to split the 
People's Front would have brought down the avalanche of 
civil war earlier with every chance for victory on the side 
of the enemies of democracy and the Republic. 

The clear-sighted policy of the Communists, supported by 
the vast majority of the Socialists, later adhered to in battle by 
the Anarcho-Syndicalists, turned the tide against the fascists. 

Indeed, it is the victory of this policy, now leading to every 
prospect for the victory of the people of Spain against their 
own fascists, that is inspiring Hitler and Mussolini to the raosl 
dastardly lies in order to speed the fascist intervention on the 
side of their losing cohorts in Spain. 

Socialists Back Unity 

After the Communist Party of Spain spoke, Claridad, the 
organ of the Left Socialists, declared under the signature of 
Largo Caballero, now the foremost hghler at the head «f the 
workers' militia: 


"We shall be on the side of Oie government, in order to help 

it to cany out the joint program, with all ilie necessary determina- 
tion, even if this program does not satisfy us eatirely." 

Realizing the main question confronting the Spanish people 
in their fight for liberation from feudal fetters and from the 
threat of fascist domination was unity on an immediate pro- 
gram, though that program was not socialism^ the Socialists 
and Communists stood side by side in the People's Front. 
They firmly supported the Azana government, though they 
both realized the limitations and vacillations of that gov- 

Fascists Hoped for Split 

Any other policy would have meant early suicide. Any other 
road would h^ve been a smooth highway for fascism. 

Yet against this solid front the fascists struck, because they 
realized its continuation would have made it harder if not 
impossible for them to strike at a!L They struck when they 
saw signs of inner conflict among the proletariat, and quarrels 
with the Left Republicans, They hoped de^arly that the Left 
Republicans would withdraw, leaving the heroic proletariat 
alone to be mowed dowt) in battle. Failing in this objective, 
the fascists nevertheless took up the cry that they were saving 
"civilization from Bolshevism". 

Think of it! The descendants of the Inquisition saving 
civilization! The arislocralic families and landlords of Spain 
who despoiled Mexico, slaughtering its native population, who 
were the ruthless pirates of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, 
who have lived on robbery and plunder, keeping Spain the 
poorest and one of the most backward nations in the world, 
coming to the rescue of "civilization"! 

Imagine the people whom the French masses rid themselves 
of in 1793, and the Americans in 1 776, demanding in the Spain 
of today that they should have the right by armed force to 
murder the people's rights and set over the corpses of the 
fighters for liberty their heinous temple of fascisl' degeneration. 

To achieve this end, the fascists in every land now in chorus 
shriek ihey are fighting Bolshevism in Spain. 



With gun ill hand, fighting shoulder to shoulder with doc- 
tors, lawyers, small merchants, students, peasants, workers of 
every political and religious belief, the Coiiiraunist Party of 
Spain calmly gives its answers to the baying fascist blood- 

Reiterating in a more critical period today its words of 
February, 1936, which every honest person in Spain sees is 
sealed with the blood of Communists on the battlefield of 
democracy, Mundo Obrero, Communist official organ^ on Aug. 
4 wrote: 

"The entire vvurld should know that the Spunisli people are 
fighting under the direction of die government in defense of their 
republic and i>f democracy against counter-revolutionary anarchism 
und fascism. 

"It is not true lliat Communism has been established in Spain. 
It is also unfrue that horrors are being committed in cities under 
government control. The republic respects private property of 
friends of the republic and individual rights of all republicans. 
Confiacation is carried out only against those who have nnleashed 
this terrible slaughter. They are security measures against enemies 
of the people. . . . 

"We respect and guarantee the security of foreigners and foreijiin 

Advance to Socialism 

Hitler and Mussolini, in their war-mad and rotten hearts, 
know that every word of the above is true. They are not 
reeled off on the spur of the moment, to fit the gravtt danger 
of fascist intervention. 

The defense of the deniocratie republie as the best means 
of advancing to Soelalisn^ and the end of all exploitaLiou and 
oppression of the toilers of Spain was stressed and advocated 
by both the Socialist and Communist Parties of Spain before 
the fascists began their assault on democracy. 

At this moment, the Socialists and Communists, aided by the 
Aiiarcho-Syndicalists, stand in the vati of the toiling masses 
who form the backbone of the defenders of the Republic. 

rhey are not doing what the fascists would wish them to do, 
seize all property, native and foreign, alienate the middle class 


who are ready to die for the Republic, and confuse the peas- 
antry who are the majority of the people in Spain. 

Destruction of Fascisrn 

The Communists and Socialists set themselves only one task 
now: The destruction of fascism and the preservation of the 
democratic republic. 

The fascists, likewise, have only one goal, though com- 
posed of the most diverse elements of plunderers, landlords, 
exploiters, adventurers and a choice selection of cut-throats: 
They are fighting for the destruction of democracy and the 
erection of a dlctalorslup wfiether under a hited monarchy or a 
despised fir^cist dictator. 


COON after the establishment of the Azana government, 
^ the leading fascist deputies, Gil Robles and Calvo Soleloi 
began their parliamentary olFensive against the People^s Front, 

Ironical as it may sound now, they started off with a debate 
on "law and order," urging Azana to crush the People's Front, 
to abandon the Socialist and Communist Parties. 

Meanwhile, on the streets, in the barracks, and in every 
phase of economic life, the cohorts of the fascists gangs were 
carrying on a veritable reign of terror and murder. Pistoleros, 
members of the Phalanx, reactionary officers resorted to blood- 
shed and violence against the adherents of the People's Front. 

The secret aim of the tactics of the reactionaries lay in pro- 
voking street clashes while the Senors Robles and Sotelo 
spouted about "order" and the necessity of squelching the 
proletarian rabble. As a result of this preliminary bloodWd, 
they hoped to engender a split among the parlies of the 
People's Front. 

With the smashing of the People's Front, they looked for 
Arana and the Republicans to break with the Socialists and 
Communists, and to yield to the reactionaries. True, this 



was the advice also given to the Socialists by the Trotzkyites 
and certain "Socialist" advisers in the United States. It was 
the main plank in the political line o£ the Spanish fascists in 
preparation for their gory attack. The firm stand of the 
Communist Party and the leaders of the Left wing of the 
Socialist Party brought this maneuver to naught. 

Then the fascists resorted to violence and bloody plotting 
in real earnest, though Rohles and Sotelo never for a moment 
gave up the incessant parliamentary pressure against the 
middle class parties behind Azana and Barrios. 

Fascist Groupings 

The most important of the fascist groups implicated in the 
plotting, each strong in the various provinces, each with its 
cUqae of officers in the army, and each following the common 
aim of provoking riots, intensifying strikes against the gov- 
ernment, resorting to lockoutSj and other forms of economic 
sabotage, and making their alliances with the foreign fascists, 
were the following: 

CEDA: a bloc of the extreme Right parties of the big land- 
lords, capitalistSj and the church heads* 

Spanish Phalanx: the fascist grouping which on the sur- 
face aped most slavishly the tactics and formation of the 
Italian and German fascists. This organization is headed by 
the son of the former dictator, Frimo de Rivera. 

Popular Accion: a Catholic fascist organization, led by 
Gil Robles and supported by the extremely wealthy Jesuit 
order and the millionaire tobacco magnatCj Juan March. 

Officers* Union: comprising the bloated and overstaffed 
officer corps, in allegiance with the various fascist and mon- 
archist groups, and bitterly resisting reorganization of the 
army by the Azana government. 

The Spanish Regeneration: a fascist organization which 
wanted to ^'regenerate" Spain on the model of 1515. 

Carlists: monarchist supporters of a Carlist restoration, 
strongest in the worst centers of fascist banditry today in Pam- 
plona and Burgos. 


Monarchists: followers of ex-King Alfonso. 

The Spanish Foreign Legion: under the control of Gen. 
Francisco Franco, Hitler and Mussolini ally in Morocco. The 
Spanish Foreign Legion is the most roundly hated outfit in 
Spain, especially after its bestial slaughter of the Asturian 
miners in October, 1934. Composed o£ the worst criminals 
ever belched out of the prisons of the world, men who face 
death on the gallows outside the ranks of the Legion, the 
Spanish fascists rely now chiefly on them lo win a "victory" 
for "civilization" in the south of Spain. 

American and British Backing 

Besides, supporting the fascists are the American Telephone 
and Telegraph Co., which in October, 1934, contributed to the 
fund of appreciation for the murderous work of the Foreign 
Legion; the Standard Oil Co., the Royal Dutch Shell, and 
many other American, British, German and Italian cor- 

Working from their special vantage points, after February^ 
1936, these fascist supporters, with their gangsters (pisloleros), 
their army officers, choice scoundrels of the Civil Guard, and 
lackeys of the big landlords, systematically set to their work 
of preparation and provocation for the events dyeing Spain 
red with blood today and threatening a new world holocaust. 

Before giving some of the details of the fascist assaults, we 
want to refer to the pertinent remarks of Cesar Falcon, a 
Madrid writer, who on April 25, barely two months after the 
People's Front won its victory, said: 

Communist Position 

"The Communist Party, through the medium of the press, at 
meetings, and in parliament, did not cease for one moment to wrge 
the government, to compel it, to take those steps which the pre- 
lection of the working class people, of ihe people*s front, and even 
of liie government's own regime demanded ; it was perfectly evident 
from all the acts of provocation and violeitce that the ground wag 
heing prepared for a coup d'etat." 


Early in April, the landlords in Seville, Cordoba, Jaeri, now 
strong centers of fascisnij began to boycott agreements with 
the farm laborers. In Parliamenl, the CEDA resisted and 
blocked passage of bills to help the land workers, or the dis- 
tribution of land. 

In the barracks, the fascist officers initiated a reign of terror. 
On April 16, Capt. Faraudo, an adherent of the People's 
Front, who exposed some of the terroristic deeds of the fascist 
officers, was shot down. A few days later, fascist officers ran 
through ihe streets shooting wildly at workers. 

June Events 

By June this year in Malaga, groups of Socialists and Com- 
munists had to defend themselves with weapons against the 
fascist pistoleros for three d^iys. Fascists attempted to kill 
Communist and Socialist leaders. Andres Rodriguez, Com- 
munist member of the Malaga town council, was murdered. A 
conflict between Anarcho-Syndicalists of the C.N.T. (National 
Confederation of Labor) and Communists was taken advantage 
of by the fascists, who sought to force the fight into a bloody 
struggle. A few minutes before the murder of Comrade Ro- 
driguez, pistoleros attacked and killed Roman Reina» Socialist 
chairman of the provincial parliament and secretary of the 
united U.G.T. union* 

At a demonstration in Madrid, celebrating the amiiversary 
of the Republic, fascist gangsters threw a bomb at the speakers' 
stand, nearly murdering several members of the Azana govern- 
ment. In the fighting that followed, the fascists killed several 

Rohles in Parlidmeni 

In every part of Spain, the fascists were resorting to violence 
and murder. By July, the whole country was dotted with 
fascist attacks. In all leading cities, and in the countryside 
the fascist provocations were leading to a state of anarchy. 

On a small scale, the fascist assault begun by Gen. Franco 
on July 15 was already on by early April. 


Gil Robles had the audacity to rise in parliament and read 
off an indictment of "violence" against the Azana Government 
and the People's Front, less than one month before the fascists 
turned Spain into a battlefield. 

Alarm Is Raised 

Both the Communist and Socialist Parties raised the alarm. 
Exposing the double game of the reactionaries — violence and 
murder on the streets, and self-vindicating charges against the 
People's Front in parliament — Comrade Dolores Ibarruri (la 
Pasionaria), now distinguishing herself in the fight against 
fascism, just a few weeks before the fascist outbreak declared 
in the Cortes: 

"The reactionaries talked of 'disorders' provoked by llie working 
masses. But the real crimes had been committed by the reaction- 
aries theraaelves before and after the victory of the People's Front. 
And all theae deeds perpetrated in Spain during tlie period so 
justly called tke two black years, were carried out not only with 
ttie support of the coercive machinery of the state, but by recruiting 
<iniong the dregs of capitalist society dc^classed men of the lumpen- 
proletariat who, for a reward and the assurance of iinpuniiy, assas- 
sinated workers who distinguished themselves in struggle. 

"Among the victims were Canales, Socialist; Joaquin de Grado, 
Juanita Rico, Manuel Andres and many others who fell through 
bullets of these gunmen led by Calvo Sotcio, by a young girl, whoso 
mere name, when pronounced, rouses tlie hatred of the Spanish 
workers to such an extent it 19 a symbol of the shame and ruin of 
Spain, and by a band, of young fools who arc jealous of the vic- 
tories and sanguinary laurels of Hitler and Mu&solini." 

La Pasionaria called on the Azana Goveniment to lay a 
sterner hand on the fascist provocateurs and murderers. 

There were signs then even that the petty bourgeoisie were 
throwing their lot with the proletariat, in the event of a 
bloody assault of fascism; that the hopes of the fascists that 
the Republicans would scatter or join the forces of reaction 
would be blasted. 

Alvarez de Albornoz, on May 31, in a speech in the Coites* 
aroused the middle-class supporters of the People's Front by 
his moving speech: 


"The hour has come/' he cried, *'to go forward to a Republican 

"The Cortes of the People^s Front will be either the Cortes of 
t]ie revolution, the great national rebellion, or it will be nwrely a 
gloomy chapter of tlie despairing history of our parliamentary 

Aid People's Front 

Unable to shake the petty bourgeoisie and peasantry away 
from the People's Front by threatening speeches and piece- 
meal terror^ the Fascists hoped to blasi thena to their side by 
civil war. 

For a time, a small section of Republicans wavered about 
arming the workers. The Martinez Barrios cabinet could not 
hold together. Then the middle class formed the Giral cabinet, 
with the full-fledged support of Communists, Socialists and 
Syndicalists for llie sole aim of defeating fascism and preserv- 
ing the democratic Republic. 

It was then that fascism felt the full brunt of a people 
fighting desperately and gloriously for liberty. 

It was then the fascists began to scream "Help!" to their 
fascist allies in other countries. 

Atrocity Lies 

It was then the pro-fascist press of the world began to 
muddy the channels of information with atrocity lies and 
fables about a dictatorship of the proletariat. 

Speculation about the date of the Socialist revolution in 
Spain we leave to those who would welcome the wreckage of 
the People's Front in Spain no matter whether fascism con- 
quers or not. 

The speediest road to socialism, to progress in any degree 
in Spain, lies over the dead body of Spanish fascism. 

That can be achieved only by the firmest unity of the 
Spanish people, workers, peasants, middle classj intellectuals, 
the professionals, and the loyal men and officers of the army 
and navy. 

The very promise of sweeping victory by the People's Front 


enrages and spurs the Italian and German fascist butchers to 

But against them, and on behalf of the heroic people of 
Spain fighting like demons to preserve what is dear to all 
humanity, are being aroused and wakened the liberty-loving 
people in all lands, the toilers, the peasants, the middle class, 
ihe intellectuals, regardless of political or religious belief. 

There lies the shortest route to the emancipation of the 
toilers of all Spain, the beginning of the end for fascism in 
Germany and Italy, and the hope of preserving the peace of 
the world. 


By G. Marion 


ALTHOUGH at tiif moment of taking anus against the 
People's Front and the Republic fascism was able to 
muster very small forces other than the standing army, it 
would be fatal to regard the rising as a military adventure. 
This was a bid for power by fascism itself which counts 
among its allies in Spain not only the big bourgeoisie, but 
all the elements integrated with the semi-feudal huge estate 
land system still prevailing. Among these must be included 
the landlords themselves, the "middlemen" who are the direct 
landlords of many provinces, the huge class of priests and 
retainers of the Church and religious orders, the agents, fore- 
men, armed guards, collectors and other servants of the 
landlords; in their wake a whole school of public ofi&cials, 
bureaucrats, whose job and emoluments have always depended, 
not upon the government theoretically appointing them, but 
upon the landlords and caciques who in reality named them 
and directed their every step —these included the justices and 
police and this influence has extended deep into the various 
armed corps other than the army. In the army the entire 
high command and perhaps the majority of an overnumerous 
officers' corps were not merely reactionary but anti-Republican. 

One Twenty-Fourth of People 

These were the classes and groups providing (and to a 
great extent they still provide) the material resources and 
even the man-power of fascism. But numerically their abso- 
lute strength is still not great. Counting all the direct retainers 
of the commercial and industrial bourgeoisie, of the church 


apparatus, and the creatures of the landlords, we would be safe 
in putting the figure at below one million^ of Spain's twenty- 
four millions, from which the feudal-clerical-fascists gain their 
adherents. But this is a powerful army of recruiting agents, 
given a free hand among the backward, often illiterate rural 

If recruiting has been poor, the fault lies not with the lack 
of money and energy spent on the task by the landlords^ 
bourgeoisie, and clerics, but with the tremendous success 
scored by the People's Front and primarily by the Communist 
Party. The latter carried the main burden both of mobilizing 
mass pressure to reinforce the actions of the Left Republican 
government, and of preventing impatience with the amazing 
weakness of that government from turning into the split so 
eagerly sought by the reactionaries. The government was 
very progressive measured by the standards of perhaps any 
capitalist government on earth, but very feeble when its accom- 
plishments are measured by its tasks. 

First of its tasks should have been to cripple the counter- 
revolution before it could prepare just such a blood-bath as 
Spain wallows in today. For this is the second of the errors 
against which we must guard; that of regarding the coup as a 
bolt from the blue. The military aspect of the fascist stroke 
must not obscure the twin facts that it is an assault by all the 
tremendously powerful forces of reaction, and that h urns 
politically prepared in tJie open ever sin^^e February broughl 
the People^s Front to ih^ fore. 

Labor Expected Gains 

With the advent of a Left Republican government backed by 
the People's Fronts it was obvious that the workers and peas- 
ants expected an improvement in their living conditions. They 
were under no illusions as to such improvements being handed 
them on a silver platter, but they did take for granted that 
the government would support them in their struggles. 

For two years the Rightist regime had been actively taking 
away all the polilical-legal advantages they had procured 



credit" from the April Republic. In the field and factory that 
had translated itself into hunger and "wages of misery". A 
drop in the agricultural wage average from eight pesetas to 
three and a half pesetas was typical. Some 200,000 families 
had been evicted from lands they had worked and improved— 
in some cases over generations. For industrial workers the 
physical terror of fascism overshadowed even economic repres- 
sion so that amnesty for their political prisoners came first 
in their demands. But, with the first days of the new regime, 
it was natural that the workers should attempt to regain their 
old positions and recover lost ground. 

The chief weapon in such a drive had, of course, to be the 
strike. But parliamentary action could be of great assistance. 
Correctly and quickly directed, it could in many cases have 
procured the reasonable demands of the workers without ces- 
sation of work. In others it could have terminated the strike 
to the advantage of the workers in very brief periods. 

Against these two weapons the reactionaries employed one 
tremendous bludgeon: sabotage and obstruction. In Parlia- 
ment they took .advantage of the legalistic illusions of the 
Republicans to hamper legislation by what may be regarded 
as a perpetual filibuster. 

They presented "interpellations" on the question of "public 
order". These were not merely parliamentary points of order, 
but whole debates which look up weeks of time that should 
have been devoted to urgent reform legislation. The Repub- 
licans were annoyed and replied to the Rightist attacks with 
vigorous denunciations and threats which were never carried 


Fascists Incited Folloivers 

But time was passing, and the Rightists were using the forum 
of the Cortes to incite their followers, day after day, to merge 
in one fascist mobilization to destroy the People's Front. In 
vain Pasionaria thundered a demand that Gil Robles and 
Calvo Sotelo be jailed. They continued to shout provocation 
from their benches in the Parliament. They read lists of "vic- 



tims" who had perished since the People's Front victory, from 
which they omitted all the nationally known viclims of the 
fascists! They incited employers to resist the government 

The employers, in turn, carried out the campaign of obstruc- 
tion and sabotage to the full. They incited strikes by refusing, 
at first, even to negotiate. They prolonged the strikes by every 
imaginable provocation. Having accepted a Labor Board 
verdict, they would fail to carry out the agreement and the 
workers would be compelled to return to the picket line. In 
one great strike, agreement having been reached, the workers 
returned to work on Monday only to find the doors of the 
factories closed without explanation. Where workers did not 
go on strike employers withheld pay to force them to strike. 

Pistolerisnw was employed to the utmost. Already in 
March and April there were fascist attacks on promment 
Republicans and Marxists. Justice Pedregal was murdered for 
imposing just sentences on fascists. Labor Defender Eduardo 
Ortega y Gasset's home was bombed, as was that of Largo 
Caballero. Captain Faraud, retired officer drilling workers' 
militia, was murdered. An attempt on the life of the Socialist 
Jimenez de Asua resulted in the death of a policeman guard- 
ing him. But as the resistance of the workers and peasants 
to the campaign of provocation increased tlie use of force was 
diverted to an even more dangerous channel. 

GaTj,gsters Sent Into Unions 

Gangsters, well known criminals, frequently cited by name 
in the pages of Mundo Obrero, were introduced into the ranks 
of workers' organizations, particularly those of the Syndical- 
ists, from which position they could hope to set the workers 
at one another's throats, "amid roars of glee from the capi- 
talists", as Mundo Ohrero put it. Murders of that kind took 
place in Malaga, and the situation was reflected for a moment 
in a grave tenseness between Syndicalist and Communist 
workers. On trains coming from Seville, Syndicalist railway- 


men began chalking: "Death to Lenin; Down with the People^a 

In every crisis it was the Communist Party that kept its eye 
on the ball and succeeded in convincing the parties and the 
masses of the main issue. "Of course^ we believe in striking," 
the Party explained to the Syndicalists. "A peseta more or 
an hour less is of great consequence to us. But to waste great 
energies in a struggle for a peseta more or an hour less when, 
in a very few daysj we shall have something of infinitely 
greater consequence to struggle for . . . is foUy." 

The masses grew more and more impatient. Mundo Obrero 
spoke in sharp terms to the government. There was a tre- 
mendous tension. The cost of living had gone up 20 per cent ; 
the workers had made great gains but they could not collect 
them; two hundred cars of potatoes were left by speculators in 
the M,Z,A. station to rot while the price zoomed on the 
hungry Madrid market. The reactionaries might yet score a 
victory: they might force the people to rebel, thus enabling 
the Army to crush them in the name of constituted authority. 

Must Settle with Fascism 

Clear as daylight was the issue: economic and partial re- 
forms were good enough, but nothing could be obtained with- 
out settling with the strongest hand, the threat of fascism. The 
reactionaries must be removed by police from illegally occu- 
pied positions in municipal and provincial affairs; employers 
and landlords who defied government decrees must he jailed; 
Array officers who had sent the government an ultimatum as 
early as March must he publicly tried. More than that, the 
feudal-military-clerical-fascist class must be tried as a whole 
through their top leaders, Gil Robles, l^rroux, the whole 
Cabinet of October, 1934, the generals of the repressionj Doval 
the sadist, etc. At this moment the gunmen agents of the 
counter-revolution killed Lieut. Castilloj of the anti-fascist club 
in the Assault Guards. 

The Communist Party called a hasty meeting of the People's 
Front. Representatives of all the People^s Front parties 


pledged to support a Communist resolution and bilk The 
resolution pledged the Cortes to remain in session until the 
trial of the counter-revolutionary leaders had taken place; the 
bill provided for the trial. The fascists signaled in panic to 
all iheir forces to get ready. 

Opportunely, Jose Calvo Sotelo^ Finance Minister under 
the Rivera terror and chief of the avowed Monarchists, was 

The fascists sought to utilize this pretext to prove that 
government terror existed and, at this moment, another reason 
for hastening their action presented itself: The Quiroga Gov- 
ernment, apparently unable to meet the dera^rnds for a militant 
government, but unwilling to hinder the People's Front, was 
about to give way to a government of action. 

Communists Warned of Coup 

That was what decided the moment- — an unpropitious one — 
for the fascist coup, and thai moment was known in advance. 
On Tuesday, July 14^ the Communist daily reported that, on 
its initiative, the People's Front had voluntarily pledged the 
government its fullest support in every way against the im- 
pending coup. 

To the growth of unity among the workers, to the extending 
influence of the Communist Parly as indicated by its amaz- 
ing growth, to the spread of the People's Front to the farms 
and villages must be attributed the fact that in the final trial 
the People's Front was able to muster the support of millions 
against (he creatures of fascism. But most of all, the success- 
ful defense of the Republic is a tribute to the infinite patience 
of the Communist Party of Spain through trying and difficult 
months of sentinel duty against reaction in ambush. 


"W/rrH their announcement that twenty-eight of fifty 
Spanish provinces were in the hands of the counter-revo- 
lution, the news factories climaxed a remarkable campaign 


of distortion. True, they polished up that job with the stand- 
ard ^'objectivity" luster by having the government "officially 
admil" the "fact". Neverthless, to describe the status of the 
uprising in Spain in such lerms is to build up a case for the 
fascists out of thin air. 

Who are these fascists who *'held" more than half of Spain . 
In the first place, even the Hearst press would probably admit 
by this time that the reactionary forces are almost wholly 
confined to the army. If, for the moment, we pass over the 
deeper content of the counter-revolution and the minor, but 
interesting, civilian participants, we shall be able more quickly 
to get at the real heart of the question: the quality of the 
fascist *'hold" on more than half of Spain. 

For it is nonsense and poisonous propaganda to describe a 
military rising in terms of an invasion. An invading army 
occupies positions not just wherever a sudden opportunity 
offers, but where lines of communication can be established 
for the defense of the captured post, assuring consolidation of 
an improved position. 

Fascists Fail in Politi<:al Objecdves 

The army chiefs of the fascist enterprise in Spain had no 
such problem. What good were lines of communication when 
there were no sources of supplies and no reserves? Their one 
hope was to seize all l-he garrisons of the peninsula and from 
this vantage point so quickly take over the machinery of gov- 
ernment that sheer inertia would have kept the economic state 
functioning. This was a political-military maneuver. From 
a military point of view it became a failure if it failed in its 
political objectives. 

But in reality it failed even in a physical sense for Madrid, 
Barcelona and Bilbao never fell into fascist hands. The 
nation's capitals, the capital of Spain, of Catalonia, of Euz- 
kadi; the nerve center, the two greatest ports, the only two 
important industrial centers successfully resisted the surprise 
attack. The government held the assets; the army had cap- 
tured the liabilities. The army held numerous garrisons amid 



hostile populations, against civilian armies whose reserves are 
the whole population of Spain, and without any possibility of 
operating the factories that can alone supply the reserve mate- 
rials needed to "starve" Madrid into submission. 

Will Collapse From Withiii 

When we remember that, for the most part, the rank-and-file 
troops were deceived by their officers, we at last see what the 
fascist "hold" on twenty-eight of Spain's fifty provinces re- 
solves itself down to. The officers hold garrisons which give 
them the negative power of cutting communications, interrupt- 
ing government mobilization of materials, and conducting 
propaganda campaigns via radio, in a wide but economically 
and militantly unimportant area. Against them, surrounding 
them, are the Civil Guards, the Assault Guards, the air force, 
the navy, the artillery (for the most part), armored car units 
and the entire nation. They can hold their positions, at best, 
as long as their original supplies hold out. 

Under these conditions the counter-revolution will inevitably 
collapse from udthin, '^'Give me one good loyal regiment," 
they always say at the moment of defeat, "and Fll mop up that 
revolutionary rabble." But there are no "loyal and depend- 
able" regiments. There may be little patches of fascist des- 
peration entrenched in the backwashes of Navarre for weeks to 
come, but the decisive issues must be settled in a few centers 
and Ave may expect with all confidence after more smashing 
blows by the People's Front increasing sign^ of the disinlegror 
lion of the counter-revolution. 

Plot Revolt in North 

With these background facts in mind, we can examine more 
dispassionately what took place when the counter-revolution 
at last resorted to arms in Spain, From the military side it 
had been planned, according to the admission of Col. Vil- 
lanueva, to stage the coup on July 26, beginning with a revolt 
in northern Spain. 

With government forces drawn north, the main strength 


of the rebels, suddenly turned loose from the Canary and 
Balearic Islands and Morocco against southern Spain, could 
have occupied Andalusia at leisure and set a southern army 
on the road to Madrid. 

The generals hoped for a quick transfer of power, but at 
the very test they could only have precipitated a civil war, 
that is, a war between different sections of the population 
rather than the present war of the people against sections of 
the army. There could not under any circumstances have been 
an easy transfer of power, for the workers had long prepared 
for the coup and had politically prepared the peasantry during 
months of patience with a government that did not measure 
up to its tasks. Capture of all the garrisons of Spain by the 
generals would only have launched a nationwide gnertilla war- 
fare such as the counter-revolution proved powerless to end 
even in the single province of Asturias in 1935. 

Plans Go Wrong 

At the very beginning, however, the generals' plans went 
wrong. Undoubtedly political factors played a great part in 
forcing the hand of the Moroccan conspirators before the 
appointed time. But it is not impossible that General Fran- 
cisco Franco was rather willing to strike first in order to pre- 
vent the glory and the gains from centering on Gen. Emilio 

Since the counter-revolution had practically no mass base, 
no civilian forces at its disposal^ the objectives of the attack 
were predetermined, Spain is divided for military purposes 
into eight divisions of which the area headquarters are: La 
Coruna, Burgos, Valladolid, Zaragoza, Madrid, Seville, Val- 
encia and Barcelona* 
■ The fascists failed at Barcelona and Madrid. In the other 
areas they were in command of the garrisons and kept them. 
But all around them^ in the working class quarters of the 
cities they hold, are a thousand little forts. Every buikling 
is an enemy camp. As they ride along gaily in their "own" 
territory they are suddenly ambushed. While they wait for 



Madrid lo "starve", workers' and peasants' columns form and 

Against the hundreds of thousands of workers and peasants 
arrayed against them what forces do they command? There 
are, first, some 35,000 effectives in Morocco including For- 
eign Legion (Tercios) and 8,500 native troops* Among these 
the reactionary officers were given every opportunity to recruit 
by the feeble government policy of transferring fascists to the 
colonies instead of jailing them. This applies with double 
force to the islands: in the Canaries former Rightist Chief of 
Staff Gen. Francisco Franco wa* in full comrnand; in the 
Baleares, hated Gen. Coded, who flew to Barcelona for the 
attack on the Catalan capital. 

But even had the whole overseas army actually come with 
llie rebels, they would have had only 55,000 men to which 
might be added 10,000 overseas police. These men were not, 
of course, available for Peninsular service without stripping 
tlie Moroccan and island garrisons. Every man sent to Spain 
weakened the rebellion's basic position in Morocco by that 
much. The chief value of the strong posiLi(jn in the colonial 
army was, therefore, as a base and a retreat. 

On the Peninsula cajolery and skulduggery were employed 
to bring the troops over through inertia, A soldier who ran 
the gauntlet to escape from the La Montana barracks in 
Madrid told how uneasy the rank-and-file troops in the bar- 
racks were and how Gen. Fanjul exhorted ihem to save Spain 
horn Soviet Russia. 

Civil Forces 

The civilian forces consist largely of the Jobholders, agents, 
and hangers-on of the landlords; the local caciques and slug- 
gers whose privileges depend upon retention of the huge 
estates on which rests the semi-feudalism of modern Spain. 
Secondly, there are the brutalized and superstition-ridden 
agents of the clergy, chiefly small peasants in a limited num- 
ber of provinces in the north. In Navarre there are even 
Catholic Storm Troops, the Requetes. 


As these groups loll about in the sun beyond the Sierra 
waiting for Madrid lo "starve"^ they are still an army. But 
what will keep their morale up against hunger, suffering, 
defeat? The soldiers who were given liquor before their 
fascist of&cers exhorled them to save Spain, will sober up 
soon enough. 

In the People's Fronl the morale cannot weaken. For them 
the defense of the government and People's Front against the 
fascists represents the defense of the concrete gains they have 
made since February, and, even more, the assurance of the 
greater gains that must come with the final completion of 
the democratic revolution in Spain. 


T^HE Hearst press has smeared with "Red terror" all the 
-■■ measures of defense adopted by ihe People's Front in 
Spain. Amid vague insinuations of "godless demons" and 
Socialist and Communist atheists, there are specific charges 
of "burning and looting". 

Ninety per cent of all Barcelona's churches and conventg, 
according to the New York American, have been "set afire and 
reduced to ashes by mobs which destroyed sacred objects of 
great value". 

From the New York Times^ Barcelona correspondent came 
an "on the spot" story directly contradicting the office fabrica- 
tions of the Hearst creatures, 

"Order i& Lcinj; niaintained everywhere and minors of looting 
arc unfou3]ded. Scarcely a shot has been heard in Barcelona for 
Bcveral duys and loday the city is tranquil." 

Carney^s Times Despatch 

William Carney, ardent Catholic Madrid correspondent for 
the same New York Times, is even more specific: 

"Delegates from ihe Socialist General Workers Union are giving 
valuahle sei-vice to the government by confiscating convents and 
rcligiouH Bchools, which with chnrrhes have become State prop- 



erty. Most of these buildings contain valuable paintings, laiiesltiea 
and otiier art ireaaures winch are being eurefuTly lislt^d in i^oniplelw 
inventories being made by proletarian militiamen to uvuiil thrfls or 
vandalism. In some cases money is found on the premiiieti, uiid the 
. government has received a careful accounting for evt:iy c(!tit. 

'The keys of all churches have been turned over to the govern- 
ment to prevent use of the buildings by fascists for KuipiJig or as 
places of refuge so religious services have been temporarily sus- 
pended. There were no masses in Madrid yesterday*" 

These items derive their value from the obvious reluctance 
with which they are admitted. "I must acknowledge," naively 
writes a Christian Science Monitor conlribiitor, "that the be- 
havior of the Communists was very decent and tactful. They 
did not molest anyone, not even occasional priests and nuns 
whom I saw in the streets," 

Hear&t Admissions 

Once we have disposed of the vague atmosphere of horror 
created by ihe violently fascist Hearst, we can find, even in his 
own paperSj the simple and scanty facts available. 

"Daring the five day.'! bcginnijig today authorities throughout 
Spain will seize all religious educational institutiojjs still in the 
hands of the clergy. 

"This 15 being done to satisfy the pcople^s desire that the clergy 
be forbidden to teach" 

Here is plainly revealt ' one major aspect o( the govern- 
ment program so crudely described by Hearst as "anti- 
religious'". The Church and particularly the Jesuit order 
have long had a virtual monopoly on education in Spain. 
Their facilities did not extend to the great masses, as a result 
of which more than half of Spain is illiterate. 

Control Education 

At the same time they were able, in conjunction with their 
feudal allies, the landlords, caciques, Catholic Action, lo pre- 
vent secular compelilion almost entirely. The religious schools 
carefully prepared all the youth of Spain destined lo govern, 
to teach, lo hold civil service posts of any description, 


They mainlained, in this way, an ideological monopoly in 
the highest quarters, challenged only by the small hut select 
Institute Libre de Ensenanza. Many, many times in Spanish 
history this ohurch monopoly of education has been chal- 
langed, but failure to shake the political power of the semi- 
feudalists made all gains temporary. 

The April Republic made definite provision, legally, for 
replacing the religions schools by secular ones. A great howl 
went up from the churchmen, the wealthy bishops, the million- 
aire "sympathizers" of the powerful Church. "What have 
you to complain about?" inquired the anti-clericals. "If the 
wealthy wish parochial schools, good; let them pay for them. 
All we ask is secular schools for ourselves and that the people 
not be taxed to pay for the religious education of those who 
desire it." But this was the very crux of the matter. All the 
fancy phrases about "spirituality" barely covered the selfish 
material motives behind the defense of state religious instruc- 
tion. It was simply a juicy plum that fed thousands of idle 


The Jesuit Tactics 

The Jesuits hastened to list all the schools and investments 
devoted exclusively to the working class. Indeed, they had 
consistently with their chief funclion of diverting the energies 
of the masses from the struggle to improve their lot on earth, 
established centers wherever they could get a foothold among 
the workers. They Avere a corollary of the Sindicatos Libres, 
the Catholic Trade Unions, which have lately been filled with 
outside gunmen who played an active role in the pre-coup 
campaign of sabotage and obstruction by the Employers' 

It was imperative that the clerical monopoly on education 
be broken because it was purely and simply a part of the 
machinery by which the most reactionary elements in Spain 
maintained their oppressive rule over the masses of workers 
and peasants. 

In the debate over secular education in the Constituent Con- 


vention, Socialist Jiminez de Asua exploded the myth of the 
non-political church. 

"What is the Catholic Federalion of Students?" he asked. "What 
other purpose than political can a Federation of Cathulic Sludenls 
have in a country wJiere all students and the whole populaLioiii is 
officially and legally still Catholic?" 

The April Republic established laws permitting the breaking 
of this political stranglehold of the reaction on all education, 
but it permitted the reactionaries to sabotage their program 
and to let it go by default. Therefore, today, with the back 
of reaction broken, the People's Front is compelled to make 
effective the demand of the masses for free secular education 
and to suspend all state aid to religious schools. A people 
composed of professing Catholics has driven the church out 
of the schools! 

Clerical monopoly of education was but the spiritual reflec- 
tion of the topheavy place of the church and the religious 
orders in the wealth of the nation. 

An eminent French authority on Spain, Angel Marvaud, 

"One can without e'sa.^geration estimate at a third of the national 
wealth all the goods, real and personal^ owned by the congregations. 
The Northern Railways, the Transatlantic Company, the orange 
groves of Andalusia, the mines of the Basque Provinces and of 
the Riffj, several factories in Barcelona, are heneath tlieir open or 
concealed direction." 

He might have added the Banco Urquijo of Madrid with 
126,000,000 peseta share capital and four provincial banks 
with 85 millions as well as the Madrid street railways. 

Wealth of Church 

A curious volume of the 18th century sheds light on the 
"spirituality" of the church and clergy that made both so hated 
by a Catholic population. 

"From a table hefoie us," declares the author, "wc sec that in 
1768, for a popu]ati<>n of 9,000,000 there were 143,000 priests, 65,000 
monks and 34^000 nuns [total 242,000] . . . who possessed 



32 5{)O00O0OU realea in real properly which proauced an annual 
income of approximately 500,000,000 and adding 82 more from 
hoise^s cattle, and houBes, totaled 582,000,000, and a<J^j"g J"^^^^^' 
sermons rosaries, and tithes, it may be calculated at 1,600,000,000; 
giving for each individual of ihc Church an income of 8,000 reales, 
an exorbitant figure according to the value of money then, giv.nfr 
as a sad but natural consequence 176.000 beggars, that is, one 
for each sixly-one inhabitants." 

At various stages of the struggle which has gone on for 
centuries between secular and religious institutions for control 
of Ihe resources and wealth of the nation, there have been 
political clashes between the two. Particularly in the past 150 
years the developing bourgeoisie has attempted, along with 
the conversion of feudal estates into, bourgeois property, to 
force ihe distribution of the church lands and to compel the 
religious institutions either to get out of various businesses or 
pay the same taxes as are paid by private promoters. 

Feudal Land System 

Whether or not the bourgeoisie of Spain was ever "the" 
progressive class, this struggle found it in the role of the 
class fighting for the economic development and progress of 
the nation in general. The wealth of the church, or rather 
its income, depended not upon increased scientific exploitation 
of the nation's resources and particularly of the land, btil 
upon maintenance of the oppressive feudal system which 
leaves more than half of Spain uncultivated while peasants 

The very beginning of the solution of the peasant problem 
in Spain is the expropriation of the huge land holdings of the 
Chuch. The Church has been one with the nobles and great 
landowners in preventing irrigation, modern crop culture, 
reforestation, and in general increasing of the agricultural 
wealth of the nation, through stubborn maintenance of a 
system of exploitation in which an army of non-producers 
rented the land to toilers under conditions that kept the latter 
in permanent starvation and effectively prevented improve- 


Expropriation of the Church and religious orders in Spain 
is a social and economic necessity concurred in by great 
masses still professing the Catholic faith. These millions 
believe that the Church will be stronger for retreating to its 
own domain out of politics and business. And, on the other 
hand, the anti-clericals themselves demand no more than this. 

Even the foul slanderer Hearst's most lurid concoctions 
about Spain admit, at bottom, that there is no interference with 
freedom of religious belief and worship. Karl von Wiegand's 
dispatch upon which the Awerica-n bases its statement that 
"religious freedom" has virtually ended, says: *'It is under- 
stood that places of worship will be permitted to continue 
functioning under the new decree." 







FOR THE United Stales government, the attUnde in regard 
to Spain should be clear. 

The Spanish government is the legitimate government of 
Spain, elected by the people of ihat country. It is a demo- 
cratic government, dedicated to the preservation of those 
civil rights to which the United States is committed. It is a 
government friendly to the United States. 

With fascist mutiny facing such a government, the United 
States cannot participate in hostile acts against it which give 
aid to the fascist mutineers. To put to the American people 
the question: "Shall the United States seek to undermine a 
legitimate, democratic, friendly government?" leads directly 
to the strong answer: "No!" 

The policy of so-called "neutrality" of the Roosevelt ad- 
ministrationj which tends to aid the aggressor in international 
conflicts, does not apply here. This is not the case of a war 
between two different nations. It is the case of a fascist 
mutiny against that government which is seeking to preserve 
the democracy of the Spanish people. The American people 
cannot allow the United Slates to aid and abet in any way 
those fascist forces which are seeking to destroy this demo- 
cratic Spanish Republic, 

With this attack facing a legitimate, democratic friendly 
government, President Roosevelt is duty bound to prevent the 
munition manufacturers and the bankers from giving any help 
to the fascist mutineers aiming at the smashing of the Spanish 

* Editorial reprinted from I he August 14, 1936, issue of ihe Daily 
Worker, organ of the Communiet Party of the U.S.A. 


Unfriendly acts by the United States against the Spanish 
Republic, moreover, would lead to an alienation of the friend- 
ship of the Spanish-American peoples. There are thousands 
of intellectualsj workers and members of other sections of the 
Latin-American population who are watching with deep inter- 
est the struggle in Spain. They wish to see the triumph of 
democracy in that country to which they are linked by ties 
of language, culture and blood. 

Should the United States harass the Spanish Republic or be 
guilty of hositile acts against it, such moves would arouse 
the indignation of these Latin -American peoples and would 
tend to range them against the United States. American busi- 
ness men can understand this harmful development in terms 
of business. But there is something more important than that 
involved in this situation: the problem of friendly relations 
of the Latin-American peoples with the United States. Presi- 
dent Roosevelt has claimed to recognise the necessity for 
such friendly relations by taking the initiative in calling the 
Pan-American Peace Congress in December* The work of 
that congress will certainly not be helped by any hostile move 
against the Spanish Republic by the United States, 

Big as these issues are, there is still a bigger problem in- 
volved in tJie attitude of the United Suues toward the Spanish 
democracy. Than is: The Peace of the World. 

Mussolini and Hitler, foes of democracy and peace, are 
openly furnishing the Spanish fascists with armSj ammuni- 
tion and airplanes. Mussolini is now accused of a secret 
pact with the Spanish fascist mutineers. German Nazi and 
Italian fascist army airmen have openly joined the ranks of 
the Spanish rebels, planning to bomb Madrid with the planes 
given to the fascists by the Nazi and fascist governments. 
Their aim in engaging in such plots against the Spanish 
Republic is clear. They plan to grab larger and larger 
footholds in the Mediterranean and in Africa, Mussolini has 
his eyes on the Balearic Islands, for a new naval base in the 
Mediterranean; Hitler wants to seize Spanish Morocco. There 


can be one outcome to such a program and one alone — 



Such a conflict would quickly involve other nations. It 
would become a war in which the entire world will be precipi- 
tated. And there can be no intelligent person today who would 
state that, in such a conflict, the United States could escape 
embroilment in such a catastrophe. 

William Randolph Hearst, America's Fascist No. 1, is trying 
desperately to bring about such a world conflict. He is 
openly siding with the Spanish fascists, and has brazenly 
joined hands in support of Mussolini and of Hitler, who is 
also the ally of Japan. He who has talked so loudly of so- 
called "neutrality", attacks the policy of the French govern- 
ment, in its effort to preserve peace — a policy which Is based 
on neutrality and non-intervention. 

The French government wishes to prevent any foreign aid 
to the fascist war-mongers and mutineers. The French people 
want more than that. They want support of the Spanish 
democracy. The Blum government has been a model of 
patience until now, in order not to give Hitler a pretext for 
open warfare. Under the provocative acts of the fascist war- 
mongers, and under pressure from the French people, that 
government has given warning that intervention must cease by 
August 17, or the French Republic will permit aid to the 
Spanish democracy. 

William Randolph Hearst has not attacked those countries. 
Hitler's Germany and Mussolini's Italy, which are openly 
intervening in Spain to help the destruction of democracy. 
At the present moment, he is on the high seas — en route on 
the fascist liner Rex — to connive with Hitler and Mussolini 
in their plots against the Spanish democracy and against 
world peace. At the same time, he opens the columns of his 
press to an assault upon the French government, which is 
seeking to preserve peace* 

The American people certainly hope that Franklin O, Roose- 


veil will not be terrorized by these loud shoiUs of Hemst 
against the Spanish Republic, They look to the White House 
to take a aland for peace—by not being stmrt^peded into any 
aet of any sort that could be interpreted as assistance to the 
fascist mutineers and tvar-mak.ers. 

Statements that have been made by American diplomalic 
representatives are disquieting, to put it mildly. The oflicial 
statement made on Tuesday by Acting Secretary of Slate 
William Phillips contains no recognition of the fact that a 
democratic, legitimate government exists in Spain. Referring 
to "the disturbances in Spain" that statement speaks of "a 
completely impartial attitude"— as though there were no dis- 
tinction between mutineers and the regularly constituted gov- 
ernment, based on the elections of the people. Such is not 
an impartial attitude; it is not the sort of statement that 
should be expected from a representative of the United Slates 
toward a friendly government. 

George F. Wendelin, in charge of the American embassy 
at Madrid, persists in sending out scare stories about the 
bombing of Madrid, which reflect on the stability of the 
Spanish Republic. 

Does Roosevelt support the implications of such statements? 
Does he not appreciate the direction in which they are tending? 

The fact is, that the Spanish people are winning their heroic 
struggle against the fascists. The government controls the 
bulk of Spain. Even with the aid given the fascist mutineers, 
by Hitler and Mussolini, up to now the people's forces have 
driven back these fascists until they can operate in only nine 
provinces of Spain. Those rebels who escape*! from Toledo 
gave a graphic picture of the demoralization in the fascist 
ranks in their interview with the United Press correspondent 
on August 13, They reported that soldiers are being com- 
pelled to remain in the fascist ranks at the point of the 
officers' revolvers. 

-For the United States government, there is therefore a clear 


road to follow, as a nutU^r of duiy^ in the Spanish situation. 
The governmeiu must not give or permit aid in any form— 
arnis^ Tjuwilion, airplanes^ money or commodities — lo the 
Spanish fascists, Tlte Roosevelt administration must ph^e the 
full weight of this couiitry's influeiwe in opposition to the 
German Nazi and Italian fascist intervention in Spain. The 
Roosevelt administration must throw the weight of its influence 
in support of those countries that seek to maintain world peace 
and to curb the fascist aggressors. 

For the American people, there is a duly in this crisis to 
bring pressure on the government, to see that such a j^eace 
policy is carried out. There must be raised a strong and 
clear demand that no help be given or permitted by the gov- 
ernment to the enemies of Spanish democracy. Particularly 
can the trade unions^lhrough resolutions to the government, 
through telegrams of solidarity with the Spanish people, 
through financial aid to the Spanish Labor Red Cross fund — 
contribute to the preservation of democracy in Spain. 

The International Ladies Garment Workers' Union, through 
President David Dubinsky, has pledged itself to raise $100,000 
for the Spanish democratic forces in the Spanish Labor Red 
Cross fund. The big and representative unions should act 
rapidly, joining the Amalgamated Clothing Workers, the 
LL.G.W.U., the Furriers' Joint Council and the other organ- 
izations which have voted money to this fund. 

The American trade unions cannot allow the call of Fran- 
cisco Largo Caballero, Socialist leader, to go unheeded — 
that call urging all American workers "irrespective of party 
Hues, to unite in defense of the Spanish people in their 
struggle against fascism." 

"Fascist insurgents reckoned on taking the country una- 
wares," declared Jose Diaz, Communist leader, in his broad- 
cast on August 11 in Madrid, "but the people took the oilensive 
and will clean these traitors out of Spain." 

"In our country," lie continued, "a heroic struggle is taking 



place between democracy and fascism, between hatred and 
slavery, between the forces of peace and the forces of war," 
In such a struggle the American trade unions can do much 
for the victory of the forces in Spain that stand for democracy, 
freedom and peace. 

The American people are called upon to broadcast to the 
world that ihey take their side against the fascist oppressors, 
I against the Spanish fascists, against Hitler, Mussolini and 
Hearst. They can speak out loudly for the Spanish dmocracy. 
Great protest demonstrations before the German Nazi and 
Italian fascist consnlaies will announee to the world that the 
American masses are for democracy and for peace. Through 
such demonsl^ations will the people give the clearest and best 
ansiver to the war-mongering policies of William Randolph 
Hearst. In tfi£se giant mass protests the voice of the American 
people will speak out, clearly and strongly— for democracy in 
Spain and for peace throughout the world. 

Against the Hitler and Mussolini intervention in Spain! 
Demand the immediate stoppage of any help to the fascist 
insurgents, the murderers of the Spanish people] 

Let the American government place its full influence against 
Hitler's and Mussolini's intervention in Spain! 

For united action by labor and all other progressive forces 
in support of Spanish democracy! 



Kead More About 


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